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Value Creation Blog

6 Reasons People Don’t Take Your Advice

Posted by Josh Patrick

advice resized 600We’re all frustrated by this.  You know you’ve got great advice to give and your employees, your children, or your spouse don’t take it.  If they only listened and took your advice you know their life would be better.  So the question is, why don’t they take your brilliant ideas and run with them?

Here are some of reasons you might want to consider:

They don’t trust you.

I hate to say it, but this might just be the big one.  If the person you’re giving advice to doesn’t trust you they won’t take you seriously.

You might want to ask yourself whether the person you’re speaking with has a high level of trust in you as a person.  If the answer is no you will need to rebuild trust before you move on to giving them advice.

They don’t know how your advice would benefit them.

This happens all of the time in the advice business.  An advisor gives their client advice and the client is confused.  They don’t know how the particular piece of advice will benefit them.

The advice might be confusing or it might be complicated.  Both are the death knell when trying to get others to accept your advice.  If a person you’re advising doesn’t understand what they’re supposed to do and why they want to do it, there is a good chance that they won’t implement.

They don’t have a compelling reason to take your advice.

This is where developing a strong “why” is important.  If the person doesn’t understand why this advice will help them move their agenda forward there is no reason for another to take your advice.

Once someone has a strong reason for getting something done they will take extra effort to learn what you want them to learn.  What was formerly confusing now becomes clear.  It becomes easy for others to implement once they have a compelling reason to do so.

They don’t think your suggestion is in their best interest.

There is almost always a conflict of interest at play with all advice.  If the advice you’re giving is not in the other person’s best interest it usually doesn’t take very long for them to figure this out.  Once the person you’re speaking with figures it out you’ll lose trust and nothing will happen.

If you have a conflict of interest, make sure you tell the person you’re working with about your conflict.  If they are the one to figure it out trust will be lost and they won’t take your advice.

They haven’t asked for the advice.

This is a biggie.  Too many times we decide that others need to hear our advice whether they want the advice or not.  If this sounds like you, think again.  You might just want to hold your tongue until you’ve been asked.

This is an especially tough one for me with my children.  I always want to give them advice, but until I’ve been asked I can almost always be sure that it’ll be ignored.

They might not be in the right place to take advice.

Your advice might be spot on.  The person you’re working with might even have asked for the advice.  If they’re not in a place to do something with the advice you provide then nothing is likely to change.

I know there have been times in my life when I got great advice.  For some reason (and it didn’t even have to be a good reason) I wasn’t ready to take the advice.  I ended up doing nothing, not because I didn’t know I needed to, but because I wasn’t ready to hear it.

That’s the crux of the deal.  If you have trust and the person you’re working with knows that you have their best interest at heart, it doesn’t mean they’ll take your advice.  That’s just the way of the world.  Sometimes we have to wait until the other person is in the right place and then try again.  There doesn’t seem to be any perfect answer with the best way to give advice. 

What about you?  Do you have any ideas on better ways of giving advice?

We have a workbook on what we call the decision free zone.  This workbook will help you review things you have to do versus things that can be done later.  This workbook is especially useful when you are going through a transition such as a job change, divorce, loss of a loved one, or birth of a child.  If you’re interested in getting this workbook, click on the button below.


Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Stage 2 Planning Partners and NFPSI are not affiliated.

This article is published for residents of the United States only.  Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered.  Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed.  Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed.

Topics: communication, trust, personal value

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